Just before America’s entry into WWII, Claire Lee Chennault, working in war-torn China, formed the American Volunteer Group (AVG). Comprised of adventurers attracted by high pay, this group of inexperienced airmen defended Southern China and Burma against the Japanese Army Air Force. On 23 December the Japanese mounted a major raid on Mingaladon Airport. 15 Ki-21 Sallys attacked the airport. An element of the 3rd Squadron flew up to meet them. The bombers were unescorted.
1. Town on Baker-2 is the Mingaladon airfield. The road is the Thailand Border.
2. Town on Dog-1 is Rangoon. The road is the Burma Road.
3. Sun: Right Upper
6 TURNS Japanese set up first IJAAF Elements of the 62nd Sentai, 3rd Chutai Elements of AVG, 3rd Squadron
3-Ki-21 Sally at 15,000 ft. in Vee formation 2-P-40C at 10,000 ft. Set up first on Fox-1
IJAAF Elements of the 77th Sentai
2-Ki-27 Nates-Turn 3.
Both R. T. Smith and Tom Haywood experienced their baptism of fire and broke off their attack when they came under attack from the Nates. Both scored a bomber. After the battle had started, they had been joined by two of the release pilots, Charles Older and Edmund Overund.